Exploring the benefits of a home pembrolizumab infusion service for patients with advanced melanoma
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Exploring the benefits of a home pembrolizumab infusion service for patients with advanced melanoma

Liz Gifford Clinical nurse specialist advanced melanoma, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, England

An increasing incidence of melanoma and recent scientific developments in systemic anti-cancer therapies have resulted in greater demand for immunotherapy, leading to escalating pressure on, and competing demand for, limited oncology day unit resources. A pilot evaluation of a service to provide immunotherapy in patients’ homes was undertaken to establish safety and feasibility. University Hospital Southampton recruited ten patients in hospital and three patients at home to have one cycle of pembrolizumab. Patients scored their experience and satisfaction of both settings using a Likert scale questionnaire. This article reports the results of the pilot, which shows increased patient satisfaction with home-based administration and greater convenience. Patients cited reduced time off work and travel costs as a socioeconomic benefit. Results also appear to show that home-based treatment is as safe as hospital administered immunotherapy.

The article discusses the need for excellent team work, communication and coordination to support positive patient experiences. It also highlights some of the difficulties of cross-boundary working and the limitations of a small sample group. The article describes an alternative approach to increasing demand on services taking into consideration the shift of resources from day care units to nurse specialists.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1474


Gifford L (2018) Exploring the benefits of a home pembrolizumab infusion service for patients with advanced melanoma. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1474

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared


Data collection and analysis were performed by Black Swan Analysis. Editorial support was provided by Succinct Medical Communications. The service evaluation, data collection and editorial support were fully funded by MSD (Merck Sharp Dohme)

Published online: 06 June 2018

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